Thursday, April 26, 2012

Cant sleep, version no. 832323454001

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Now, with more predawn action.

Don't mind me.  Just up early, entering my latest gift card into my Starbucks account so I can keep them free drinks a-comin'.  This one was a thank-you for helping my friend Karin with a slideshow for her AVID seniors.  The truth is that I was happy to help out because I believe in AVID and I believe in Karin.  And working on slideshows is hardly tortuous work.  Still, it's nice to be appreciated, even for small things.

I've been sitting here waiting for my family to wake up, thinking about appreciation.  I guess you could say it's this week's theme.  It's Staff Appreciation Week at work, and for the first time in recent memory I have an awesome secret student pal. (And perhaps I'm liking this whole thing better since this time it's not a secret for me who it is?  I don't like secrets...they're like lies told cheerfully.) My pal's been bringing me presents all week to make me smile; even though most of the time that kind of thing is way too awkward, knowing it's a student who means a lot makes it better this time.  And perhaps since it's happening in conjunction with my having a class of ninth graders who actually get Shakespeare (for real!), I'm feeling great.

Last night at the AVID banquet I got to see Karin receive the kind of true appreciation that makes people think they want to go into teaching in the first place (a kind of appreciation which is--in times where classes approach numbers near 35 or 40--not real common).  Most of the time we do what we do and then we send the kids on.  It can feel a bit like working on an assembly line--you never see the end product, but you work hard every day to do your one part.  But last night Karin heard from student after student who said with complete conviction that they loved her, that she was the reason they were going to go to college, and that they knew they could succeed after high school.  Wow.  I came home feeling happy that one of our ranks had received her due.  Appreciation of any teacher is, in a way, validation of what we all do.

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